Most of his campaign staff ultimately abandoned him, his campaign had racked up $1.2 million in debt (with less than a third of that sum of cash on hand), his poll numbers were in single digits, and one Iowa Republican even told Gingrich to his face that he ought to get out of the race before he made an “even bigger fool of yourself.”
Now, things appear to be changing for Gingrich. Last week several polls showed him rising into the top tier. His supporters have started a Super PAC and his campaign brought in $1 million in the past week. Republican primary voters are clearly giving Gingrich a second look, and many like what they see.
Now, it seems, many GOP voters have forgotten — or at least allowed Gingrich back into the game. And for those who haven’t, Republican political consultant Reed Galen noted, “Newt is so masterful on the pivot,” meaning that he can spin the prior gaffes into “’you in the media doing this simply to destroy me, to continue to bring up issues that don’t matter to the American public. This is all about you trying to sell a newspaper.’”
And the scaled-down and revamped Gingrich campaign that followed his summer implosion has turned out to be a better fit for the candidate, said Galen. He likened it to Arizona Sen. John McCain 2008 presidential campaign, which had its own summer primary meltdown before McCain went on to win the Republican nomination.
In the intervening months since his campaign’s summer collapse, Newt has played to his strengths, said New Hampshire Republican strategist Mike Dennehy.
“Since the spring, he has slowly rehabilitated his image, has performed magically in the debates, and quietly campaigned in the early primary states making a positive impact,” Dennehy told TheDC.